Leading Lady Part 2: Maria Romaine Brace

Experiences, Leading Ladies

Title: National Account Manager/Beach Body Coach @ “Like the Lettuce”

Age: 31

Nationality: Filipino-Italian-American


Brief Bio:  

If you missed out on Part 1 of Maria’s interview click here now, and take a look.  Her authenticity and generosity will make you feel like your chatting with an old friend.

Interview: Is there anything you say or do when you’re feeling down to lift yourself back up?

You know, I like to keep it pretty simple.  It might have something to do with being in personal development, or maybe the man I’m married to, but really when I’m in that place what I really need is tough love.  I give so much love and encouragement to others that when I’m getting in my own way, sometimes the thing I need to hear is straight to the point.  Dwight (her husband) has a way of getting right to the point.

This is a choice.  Everyone has it hard, and I am absolutely capable of doing anything I set my mind to.  So, get moving.

Once I was able to start seeing results in my health, and working at Angie’s List, I had tangible proof that I was capable of making changes in my life, I felt driven to take it all to the next level.  I had proof that the universe had my back, and all I needed to do was follow through with a system (Beach Body) to finally get healthy.


Q:  So, if we look at the process of change as an evolution, and also take into consideration that we’re never done growing/learning – if college was your “rock bottom,” how long did it take you to pull yourself out? 

The most defining factor in all of that was that I was ready.  I was ready to make a change.  I was ready to make something happen.  So, in terms of time, it was really the summer after I graduated to the fall of that same year where I really made the biggest shifts.  I was starting to kick ass at work, I was losing the weight, and I knew I wanted to find a way to take what I had learned and share it with other people.

It took about 6 months.  The physical shifts were the easiest for other people to see, but what really empowered me were the internal shifts (the evidence that I was capable).

I always knew she was in there…this person, this Rockstar, but I never had the evidence.

Once I found that feeling there was no turning back, and I knew I had to share it with as many people as possible.

Another thing I’ve learned about myself is that I tend to work harder for others than for myself…sometimes to my own detriment.  However, I learned how to leverage it into something that motivates me.

Put yourself in positions of leadership.  Put yourself in positions where people are relying on you.  Put yourself in positions where, when you’re not believing on yourself others are leaning on you, so that you have to continue to try to show up as your best self.


Q:  I LOVE that.  I love that your desire to show up for others, your service-heart, was both a potential weakness AND a source of strength.  I feel like that duality is true for so many parts of life, and I especially love that you learned how to LEVERAGE it.  To that end – what do clients say about you?  What impression do you think you make on them?

The people who have taken my classes have spoken to this dual energy.  It’s the kind/service-heart we’ve talked about that’s gotten me in trouble, but there’s also this side (my alter ego) that is yelling at people to sweat.

The words I hear people say the most are: energy, motivation, positive, and happy.  I also hear “badass” a lot.


Q:  At this point in your life, what do you do when you’re feeling down?  I ask because a down day for you now, likely isn’t the same as your rock bottom, and I can’t help but wonder if you apply the same process or something new?

Moving, dancing, or getting outside.  I know this about myself now.  When I feel stuck, I need to move my body.  The days where I get moving earlier, whether that’s a 30 minute Beach Body workout or walking my dog, I just feel better about the rest of my day.

I’m also reading or listening to informational podcasts constantly.  Sometimes the days where I need it most it can feel harder to get started, but that’s when I’ll turn to movement to get out of my own way.  It may not be a daily practice, but I would say it’s weekly.


Q:  How much time do you put into your personal fitness a week?

Hmmm… I’d say about 4 hours.  Maybe even less.  It’s generally 30 minutes in the morning and daily walks when the weather is nice.


Q:  I love how manageable that routine is.  

Yeah.  I’m either listening to podcasts on the way to work or trying to get through a book a month, whether it’s tough love, more general encouragement, or how to be a good leader.  Either way, it all has to be functional.

I’ve been doing this kind of work for almost 9 years, and one thing I haven’t mentioned yet, a huge part of my story, was the loss of my brother.

Without getting into too much detail, going through tragedy and also trying to be a motivator was – I wouldn’t even call it a low…it was just very difficult to navigate.  Like we had discussed earlier, placing myself in a leadership position when things weren’t going smoothly in my life, in some ways, prepared me to work through a real loss.

A week after he past, I decided I was going to get up, I was going to instruct, and I was going to show up.


Q:  So, you gave yourself a week, and then you were back at it.  That’s incredible.  

Yeah.  It was also REALLY confusing.  I remember struggling with, “What’s right? What’s wrong? What will people think?”  The amazing thing was people showed up to class, and they were so supportive.  I feel like coaching, being an instructor, and everything I pursued has been such a deliberate tool to make me the best version of myself.

That was hard.  Life is going to be hard.  Coaching and training has literally pulled me out of those hard times.


Pearl of wisdom: I always knew she was in there…this Rockstar.  

Golden Rules: What you put in you get out.  

This is a choice.  Everyone has it hard, and I am absolutely capable of doing anything I set my mind to.  So, get moving.


* Missed Part 1 of Maria’s interview? Click here.

*Want to see Maria in action, click here.

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